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The only way to ensure that your belongings are appropriately distributed according to your wishes after death is to leave behind an airtight plan. Estate planning helps eliminate uncertainties surrounding estate distribution and attempts to maximize value by reducing taxes and expenses. Ultimately, the format, length, and content of your plan will depend on your specific goals and needs. Estate planning attorneys are available to aid you in this process. Large estates typically result in more complicated preparation, but regardless of its size the following tips will help you make sure your assets are divided according to your wishes.
You need to keep all of your documents and information up to date. Your will or trust can be invalidated by a number of major life events, including marriage, divorce, relocation, and the birth of a child. You should also be aware of changes in laws and regulations. Keep your personal and legal information as current as possible. Your lawyer should regularly review your will or trust to make sure it is legally binding. Despite how clearly you convey your intentions for your belongings, it takes a trained eye to make sure your legal bases are covered.
Next, check all policies and accounts and learn the listed beneficiaries for your IRAs, qualified plans, and life insurance policies. The beneficiary you listed upon opening these accounts may no longer be the person to whom you’d like to leave these assets. Changing the beneficiary simply requires some paperwork; however, if you have a lawyer, always consult for legal advice before adjusting your plan estate.
You also need to maximize the liquidity of your physical assets and monitor your investment risk. Liquidity refers to the amount of time and effort required to turn your assets into cash. Illiquid assets are substantially more difficult and expense to sell. Sadly, death will bring all sorts of expenses to your family members, including taxes and funerary costs. Make you sure you leave them quick access to sufficient cash, even if it is through liquidation.
Naming a dependable executor is one of the most important aspects of estate planning. Most people choose an executor from qualified estate planning attorneys while some to choose to elect a trusted family member. Your trustee will handle collecting your assets, paying debts and obligations, and distributing your assets according to your wishes. You need to select someone who is knowledgeable about estate law, and can be trusted. Considering training and experience, estate planning attorneys are your best option for the position of executor. You need someone who can work at a distance from the situation, and isn’t emotionally invested in the outcome of estate allocation.
Make sure you consider the character and personality of each person for whom you intend to leave something behind. If you’re the parent of a minor, be aware that individual you choose for guardianship of your child doesn’t necessarily have to manage that child’s trust. You can name a guardian for your child, and place someone else in charge of money management. Likewise, if you have a teen or family member who is notoriously irresponsible financially, you can put a money management system in place. Each situation is different, which is why estate planning attorneys are so important.
What You Should Know
Estate planning is an important part of everyone’s future, whether or not they want to think about who will handle their affairs when they pass away. By having these details planned out ahead of time, even if it is painful to think about, it makes the process much easier and more streamlined for loved ones who will ultimately be grieving your passing. A large part of estate planning is having a will in place to make sure you final requests are carried out and there are no questions on how affairs should be handled.
What are the Benefits of Having a Will?
Having a will is an important part of estate planning overall. While some people may think having a will in place is frivolous, there are a number of benefits to having this document prepared:
- Having a will gives you the ability to decide who will receive specific assets when you pass away. For those individuals with children, it can also include who will have custody of the children should something happen to you while they are still considered minors.
- A will can outline who will be appointed executor of your estate when you pass.
- Drafting a will can give you peace of mind that the planning of your final affairs is already set and grieving loved ones do not have to struggle by making difficult decisions.
Choosing an Estate Executor
Choosing who will be the executor of your estate is an important decision and one that should not be taken lightly. When thinking about who will fill this role, think of someone who is well-organized, able to meet important deadlines, and someone who will be honest and forthright with what the will outlines. When making this decision, it is important to not worry about who may be offended or have their feelings hurt – an executor needs to be chosen based on their ability to complete the task.
Different Estate Planning Documents
There are a number of documents involved in estate planning and making sure to select the ones you need can be confusing. Here is a short explanation in order to gain a better understanding of these documents:
- Last Will: Distribution of assets, legal guardian of minor children, last wishes including funeral arrangements
- Living Will: Life support preferences, organ donation specifications
- Living Trust: Avoid costs and delays of probate, keeps estate information private, decrease some estate taxes
According to data from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, over 120 million Americans don’t have updated plans to protect their families when accident, sickness, or death happens.
Jumpstarting the estate planning process can be the most significant present you give your family so that your loved ones aren’t left with uncertainty and conflict. These five steps can help you start the process and provide clarity to your family about your last wishes.
1. Create a Will
If you die without a will, the court will decide what to do with assets, debts, and even your children. This is called dying intestate, and it leaves the distribution process up to the state law where you reside. To write a valid will, simply focus on stating exactly who you choose to inherit your property, and also write who you want as a guardian for your kids in case something happens to the other parent as well. If proper planning is not completed, your family will be stuck in probate court, which is time-consuming and expensive.
2. Consider a Trust
If you want to avoid the probate process entirely, consider setting up a revocable trust. If you hold your assets in this manner, you will essentially transfer ownership of your property to a trust that includes exact details on distribution when you die. Because the information is contained within one document, you are able to skip probate completely.
3. Set Up Life Insurance
Life insurance is a smart idea, especially if you have young kids, are a homeowner, or you will likely owe a large amount of estate tax after you die. You will need to make sure that you have adequate coverage for your family to meet all of their expenses when you’re no longer there to help. Consider purchasing term life insurance, which can be an affordable option as you pay a fixed premium for the entire life of the term.
4. Assemble End-of-Life Documents
Beyond wills, trusts, and life insurance, critical estate planning should also involve assembling three important end-of-life documents. To help your loved ones follow your wishes when you can’t, you should make sure they have these three documents:
– A power of attorney that allows your designated agent to manage your legal affairs and financial situation.
– A form that allows the release of information from your doctors to chosen representatives.
– An advance directive form where someone is named to make medical decisions when you’re incapacitated, and a living will to detail exactly what medical treatment you desire when your life is ending.
5. Learn About Estate Taxes
Although the majority of estates will not owe taxes, if you have a taxable estate that is worth over $5.43 million, it is important to understand how much you will owe and how to strategically minimize that amount. For example, if you leave all assets to your spouse, that distribution will be tax exempt.
People will do almost anything for money and honesty goes out the window when for some giving it back to the government or the people through taxation can be avoided. Giant companies whose directors are paid in the millions are part of the biggest swindle of all time. They hide their money in off-shore bank accounts where their anonymity was supposedly protected. The code of silence about who they are and the companies they form for this purpose was broken.
Suddenly and with their wealth at stake they are named and shamed. From the leaders to their cohorts, from drug dealers to supplies, and from company executives to ex tax office accountants, they are all in on it. Grabbing the pot of gold and running with it is their aim and the thought that they are robbing their own countries and people is of no concern to them.
Cheats never prosper is a cliché that may now be truer than ever. It is hard to imagine how this stain will wear off their characters or how they may explain their future dealings. When miners take from the ground to build their wealth one would think that they would willingly give back to the country from which they took it.
Deception of this nature built a huge wall that hides the Spirit of the Universe from view. Most who engage in such cheating are religious as they derive something from their ‘faith’ to eliminate their guilt. But the real God has seen what they do and has now exposed it.
Following my reincarnation and with a link to the Spirit it commissioned me to tear down the wall of blindness and bring in the harvest. As the work has progressed over the last 3-4 decades there is a breaking down as people wake up to the way they are tricked and victimised by both governments and big business.
The world of commerce is the product of 666 (Revelation 13:18) and his name and number were shown to me in a vision. He is Constantine who brought in many systems that remain part of the World Order, including the Catholic Church which forgives every one of their sins. It is easy to cheat if someone states that God forgives you. They, however, are the bigger fools as there is no such elimination of evil.
Those who engage in fraud are high on God’s list for annihilation and as we are at the end of the day exposure of this activity is part of the breaking of the wall that hides the truth.
The financial system is in crisis with banks charging exorbitant fees and mortgages going through the roof as people struggle to own a home. Some are even desperate to find a home of any type in which to live. In contrast those at the top of the money scale may own dozens of houses, even whole blocks of them, and leave them empty to appreciate in value. This is the new money cow and next to food houses are chief target areas for the wealthy.
Renting houses for tenants to pay off mortgages is a great way to make money and in some countries, such as Australia, they are negatively geared so that taxes can be avoided. That works by calling them ‘investments’ or, in other words, business enterprises. Any outlay required for maintenance and even interest charged on the mortgage is then a tax deduction.
The recent explosive ‘Panama papers’ released in early April show the extent of tax fraud exercised by people of different occupations from Prime Ministers down to common criminals and drug dealers. Off shore tax havens are legal in most countries and the extent of corruption within the systems that are at the base of the World Order is horrendous.
It starts with politics and religions and the two go hand in hand. If one can be free of guilt then the door to corruption is wide open. Forgiveness of sins is that channel and the Catholic Church and others that exercise control over it are the work of 666.
Following my reincarnation and with a strong link to the Spirit of the Universe it commissioned me to tear down the wall of blindness that was built by the first beast of Revelation 13 and strengthened by the second. The latter is Constantine, emperor of Rome and the one who established the Catholic Church in 325 AD at the Council of Nicaea.
He is the Amorite of Amos 2:5 and the Amors inhabited Babylon, the home of Islam where the chief god was the sun-star. Its name is Mary and it means ‘mother’s powerful eye’. Stylised into a woman whom men dreamed of ‘marrying’ they died on crosses at dawn for this right. It is the origin of Father God and patriarchal notions that saw women discriminated against, even hated, by men.
The Eye Star appeared at Spring Equinox and is the origin of Easter. The number of men dying to become gods in heaven was outlawed by Constantine who put up the image of Jesus Christ to replace the tradition. He altered the date of Easter to align with the new moon and changed the Sabbath to Sunday, the ‘dies solis’ or ‘festival to the sun’. He reinstated Mary as the Mother of God.
Constantine is also the brains behind the legal, political, and financial systems that run the world. That means that those who engage in them are in cahoots with 666. They ignore the Spirit within and the chance for eternal life as the false gods associated with money and power rule over them.
Managing your wealth, no matter how big or small, is a cumbersome task. Your financial advisor helps to keep your money safe while making it work for you. Before you start working with someone, ask them these important questions.
What Certifications Do You Have?
You need to know what licenses and certification your financial advisor has. Most of the top consultants are certified public accountants, fund specialists, consultants, or analysts. Some even carry a Juris doctorate and insurance licenses. While everyone has to start somewhere, you want to work with a firm that has extensive experience in the field.
What Safeguards Are in Place to Protect Assets from Fraud?
Your assets need to be protected by a reputable custodian. When you ask about safeguards, you should also ask about any infractions he or she has received in the past both with the firm and as an individual. To provide you with the best service, your financial advisor should be a fiduciary.
Consultants with a strict code of ethics have standards that they share with their clients. However, no matter their standards, they should be in compliance with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, state and regulatory agencies, and the Security’s and Exchange Commission.
What Are Your Fees?
When it comes to fees, your counselor should be 100 percent transparent. He or she needs to explain his or her exact fee structure, so you understand how you are paying. Some are fee-only, meaning they provide a flat rate for services rendered.
Some investment consultants charge a commission fee. That means they make money off each product you purchase to help your investments grow. It is important to know which one you are working with, or if you are with someone who charges a fee in addition to earning commissions.
What Access Do You Have to Earning Reports?
As your financial advisor, he or she should have direct access to the top holdings of where your investments are. He or she needs to be able to tell you immediately what the earnings report is anytime you call.
At the very least, he or she should be able to educate you on your holdings before any investment of assets. By educating you on available options and what assets are invested, you can better understand what the consultant suggests.
How Often Do You Communicate
When it comes to letting you know how your money is doing, the counselor should be open to communication. He or she should send out weekly announcements about the market. Also, you must be informed of trade notifications immediately and receive an explanation on every buy and sell option. Most firms also send out information about their monthly investment outlook as well as a quarterly outlook. Brokers also offer to keep their customers informed with educational information and fact sheets.
Ask the tough questions of a financial advisor before asking him or her to manage your funds. It helps you to weed out the inexperienced and shady consultants before losing any money.
A fixed deposit is a great option to save a part of your funds. It provides a steady interest stream and can be a lot safer than equity investments or mutual funds. However, when choosing the financial institution in which to make the deposit, carefully consider some important factors.
Choosing the Right Bank or Organisation
You can safely open an FD account with any PSU or large private sector bank. You can also open an FD account. Many corporates also invite fixed deposits at attractive interest rates, to raise funds for operations.
However, don’t decide where to invest based solely on the rate of interest offered on your deposit. It is one of the important considerations, but there are other details you need to look at.
Public and private sector banks operate under the control and supervision of the Reserve Bank of India. They have to comply with the rules and regulations of the RBI, and cannot default on payments.
However, if you opt for a corporate FD, they’re not regulated by the RBI, and you undertake a substantial amount of risk. Corporate FD might offer higher interest rates, but the safety of your money depends on the company’s financial stability.
Fees and Charges
If you decide to close an FD before the maturity period, your bank may levy a penalty of up to 1% interest on the amount. That is if the bank offers 7% interest on your deposit, and you withdraw the amount before time, you will only realise 6% interest on the deposit up to the date of withdrawal.
Interest Earnings and Tax
If the total interest you earn on your FD is above Rs.10,000 per annum, it will be taxed. Calculate the tax you have to pay on the interest earnings and subtract it from the total annual interest earned to see if the FD is a worthwhile investment.
If you have other sources of income, choose to reinvest your interest on the FD, to earn more. The next interest calculation will be on your principal along with the interest from the previous FD. Use a fixed deposit interest calculator facility to arrive at terms that fit your needs
Fixed deposits of up to Rs.1 lakh are exempted from taxation under Section 80C. However, the deposit term has to be for 5 years and you cannot withdraw the money before term. Consider the drawbacks of this and invest only if you are looking for ways to save on income tax.
Corporate Fixed Deposits
Corporate fixed deposit schemes are created to enable the company to raise funds at a lower rate of interest. To attract investors, the corporates offer high-interest rates. However, carefully consider the company in which you invest your money. Many companies take this route when banks and lending institutions reject them.
However, not all corporate FDs are dubious. Credit rating agencies like CRISIL review these companies and provide ratings to serve as a guide to potential investors. Choose a company that has, at least, an AA rating or above.
When you are looking for a financial organisation to open an FD, consider all the above points before you make a decision. It is a safe investment option, but your investment may not yield high returns. For that, you may need to augment your fixed deposits with investments in other schemes like SIPs and mutual funds.
Online money transfers offer convenience because they connect people whose geographical locations would have otherwise made it impossible for them to exchange money. It is a process that also offers time convenience, because depending on the platform you select for the transfer, you can have the money with you in a few minutes. Deposits, money sending and withdrawals of the same have been made pretty smooth by the online transfers. When you choose the right money transfer platform, you will not only enjoy the convenience, but you will also have confidence with the transfer process, but there are things you should do to make the process more pleasant.
Tip 1 – Take time to find the best exchange rates. Banks are not always the best when it comes to offering good exchange rates and you therefore want to do your homework before you go ahead with the transfer. By taking time to make comparisons between the different foreign exchange providers, you will be able to settle for the best rates that will give you maximum gains especially on currency conversions.
Tip 2 – Always do an online search on the country you are sending the money to see if it is an international transfer you wish to make. Such a search will fetch you promotions and special deals from the relevant money transfer companies. You might be very lucky to find a company with an offer of zero fees on transfers for a given period of time.
Tip 3 – Prioritize security and safety before making any transfer. The only way you will manage to enjoy a pleasant, safe money transfer experience online is when you work with a company whose services are regulated. Always settle for a company that is licensed and insured for foreign exchanges so that you do not end up worrying about anything going wrong during the transactions. Do a research, especially on newer service providers before using them for your transfers and check what security and safety measures they have in place for users.
Tip 4 – Consider the transaction processing time and costs. When you decide to send money online, you want to choose a transfer platform that takes a very short time to process the transfer and whose costs are reasonable. Today there are online money transfer services that take a few seconds to process the transactions and this eliminates the chance for errors with the transaction and offers peace of mind. The recipients should also receive instant notifications, once the money has been received.
Tip 5 – Remember that exchange rates do fluctuate. The foreign exchange market stays awake and the rates can soar or plummet in a matter of seconds. Find out what your online money transfer service provider uses and keep an eye on the trends so you can choose the most ideal time to send the money. Not very many people pay attention to the fluctuating rates, because the sanding could be a matter of urgency, but if you have time, pay attention to the fluctuation so you can select the best sending time.
Money and the absence of it is one of the most common sources of fear in the world. If you learn how to eliminate the anxiety that finances cause, you can start acquiring more of this all-important resources. It is far better to gain control over your finances than it is to let your finances control your life.
Start by creating a budget and diligently adhering to it. Although most people are well aware of the benefits of budgeting, few people actually take the time to write one. Knowledge is what you know, but wisdom is how you use what you know to benefit and improve your life. Put this knowledge into action and start budgeting today.
Stop spending money on things that you really don’t need with the intention of rewarding yourself. This is especially true of big ticket items that won’t provide the same lasting satisfaction and peace of mind that savings will. Write a reasonable sum into your budget for treating yourself on a regular basis and stock all your overages away. Savings are infinitely more valuable than tangible assets when financial problems arise.
Consider your risk tolerance and remain cognizant of this in everything you do. Your risk tolerance basically defines the amount of risk that you are capable of handling at any one time. If you take on too much financial risk, you will be more prone to irrational and hasty decision-making.
There are lots of ways that you can take on too much risk. For instance, if you choose to finance a home or purchase a car before you’re actually ready for these purchase, this will create an excess amount of risk. The end result will be anxiety and stress and a tendency to make choices that aren’t in line with your financial well-being or your financial goals.
Establish a mindset of gratitude, no matter where your life might currently be. If you make a point of being happy with what you already have, you won’t be as likely to overspend on new things that you really don’t want or need. More importantly, you also be more predisposed to taking good care of the resources your currently own. This will extend the lifetime of these assets and help you get more value from them.
Start making a proactive plan to take care of your existing debt. Reach out to your creditors and attempt to establish reasonable payment plans that you can actually adhere to. If this doesn’t work, think about getting a debt strengthening loan in order to centralize your payments and make everything easier to manage.
If you’re being pursued by a debt collection service, make a point to connect with the company to discuss your accounts. Find out how much you owe altogether and determine whether or not your can feasibly repay your debts. If you have acquired more delinquent accounts that you can reasonably manage, it may even be a good idea to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Efforts like these are a proactive way to start bringing your finances into a more manageable and profitable state.